Game Balls and Goats: NFC North, Week 8

By
Updated: October 30, 2012
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford reacts to the news that he has won the Water Cooler Sports Offensive Game Ball for Week 8.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford reacts to the news that he has won the Water Cooler Sports Offensive Game Ball for Week 8.

After a few weeks of boring predictability, we finally see some new faces in the Water Cooler Sports NFC North Game Balls and Goats awards. The NFC North featured three victorious teams that triumphed in hard-fought contests this week, so there was no shortage of qualified candidates for these prestigious awards.  I’m sure the players are all waiting on tenderhooks for their generous prizes,* so let’s get right to it.

*I’m not giving them a prize, they make way more money than I do.  They will, however, get my grudging respect. 

 Game Ball—Offense

Perennial game ball favorite Aaron Rodgers had a quiet week this week, opening the door for someone else to win for a change.

Enter Detroit Lions quarterbak Matthew Stafford, who played a great game in securing a Detroit win over the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Stafford lit up one of the best passing defenses in the NFL, going 34 for 49 for 352 yards, with three passing touchdowns and one interception, throwing the game-winning touchdown strike to wide receiver Titus Young with 20 seconds left. He even added in a rushing touchdown for good measure.  Enjoy the hot tub this week, Matt. You’ve earned it. (Just make sure to keep your bikini top on — nobody wants to see that).

Honorable mention goes to wide receiver Titus Young, who hauled in all nine of his targets for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The pressure was on Young to step up after Nate Burleson went on injured reserve this week, and he answered the call wonderfully.

Game Ball—Defense

Although he gave up over 100 receiving yards to Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings intercepted quarterback Cam Newton twice, increasing his NFL-leading total to six. Jennings also scored a 4th-quarter touchdown on an interception return, giving Chicago much-needed points on a day in which their offense struggled to move the ball and score.

Honorable mention goes to Detroit safety Ricardo Silva, who had four tackles, a pass deflection, an interception, and a fumble recovery. His all-around solid day helped Detroit get a much-needed victory.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Dezman Moses scrambles to recover a punt blocked by cornerback Davon House, earning him the Special Teams Game Ball for Week 8.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Dezman Moses scrambles to recover a punt blocked by cornerback Davon House, earning him the Special Teams Game Ball for Week 8. What was most remarkable about the accomplishment is that the Packers succeeded in blocking the punt despite having only 10 men on the field.

Game Ball—Special Teams

Green Bay’s offense, heavily depleted by injuries, struggled to get it going against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8. Thankfully, they got some points on special teams, as linebacker Dezman Moses recovered a punt blocked by cornerback Davon House to score a touchdown and help the Packers pull away from the Jaguars. Scoring non-offensive points is a surefire way to get recognition for your efforts in an area of the game that is often overlooked.

Honorable mention goes to Chicago kicker Robbie Gould, who hit a 41-yard field goal to beat Carolina as time expired. Chicago is thankful that Robbie Ice does not get fazed by pressure.

Goat—Offense

Chicago’s offensive line had a rough go of things against Carolina, failing to excel in either run or pass blocking. They gave up six sacks (all in the first half) and failed to open up holes in the running game in the second half. Chicago’s offense averaged only 4.0 yards per play, a stat that can largely be blamed on the failures of the offensive line.

Dishonorable mention goes to the entire Minnesota Vikings offense, which had a rough day in their blowout loss to Tampa Bay. They put up a meager 17 points, turned the ball over three times, and allowed quarterback Christian Ponder to be sacked three times (and pressured all night).

Dishonorable mention also goes to Green Bay’s offensive line, which gave up two sacks against Jacksonville’s anemic pass rush and only enabled the running backs to average 2.5 yards per carry against a poor run defense.

Goat—Defense

Minnesota’s rushing defense had a extremely disappointing outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving up a huge day to rookie running back Doug Martin. Martin ran over, through, and around their defense for 135 yards and a touchdown on his 29 carries. They also let him turn a short pass into a 64-yard catch and run for a touchdown.

Dishonorable mention goes to Green Bay’s pass defense, which gave up 303 yards and a touchdown to Jacksonville quarterbcak Blaine Gabbert, who has not exactly been lighting up the NFL this year.

Rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin breaks away from the Minnesota Vikings defense, shaming them into the Defensive Game Ball for Week 8.

Rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin breaks away from the Minnesota Vikings defense, shaming them into the Defensive Game Ball for Week 8.

Goat—Special Teams

Minnesota punter (and Water Cooler Sports Network favorite) Chris Kluwe was one of many Vikings who struggled against Tampa Bay. Kluwe punted six times for a meager 37.8 yards per punt, costing Minnesota valuable field position in a game where they needed all the help they could get. It may seem as though we’re  picking on the Vikings here, but they suffered a blowout loss while all the other NFC North teams won, and there was no shortage of poor performances from Vikings players.

Dishonorable mention goes to Chicago kicker Robbie Gould, who missed a 33-yard field goal in the 4th quarter that almost cost Chicago the game. He did, however, atone for that by kicking a game-winning field goal a few minutes later.

Dishonorable mention also goes to Green Bay punter Tim Masthay, who unsuccessfully audibled to a fake punt against Jacksonville.

Jury Summons

If you want to be a part of deciding who receives these awards, be sure to stop by the Water Cooler for  game chat during Monday Night Football. Then you’ll have a chance to make your voice heard, support your favorite players, and condemn the guys from your rivals that you love to hate.

If you follow the NFC South (or any other division) and would like to take charge of handing out the weekly awards and dishonors for that division, drop me a line at  and I’ll help you get set up.

Epilogue

Week 9 features all four NFC North teams in action once again, so be sure to keep an eye out for players who deserve mention next week.  In the meantime, those who received game balls can expect their prize in the mail,* while the goats have their work cut out for them to improve on their struggles.

*We’ve covered this. I’m not giving these rich fools a dime. Maybe they could pay me as thanks for the recognition. 

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

557 comments
gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17

No good topics and its slow in here. Gonna go find a river and do some Montana style fishing or Try to learn it anyways

Peace Love and Superbowls to all

Go Bucs

50CaliberFalconoles
50CaliberFalconoles

I'm sorry moma, I didn't mean to hurt you, but today Rourke is cleaning out his closet

JVince 11
JVince 11

WAHOOO!!! WE FUCKIN RULE....... week 8?

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

Damn the birthday girl up top has a garbage face, but the tits aren't bad.

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17

I am SO SICK of this Riley Cooper shit.

SO he got drunk and said a Racial Slur..............So Fucking WHAT

Damn.................The media acts like he tried to kill someone

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

a guy in Minneapolis is saying the Timberwolves are racist because there are only 5 black guys on the roster. this is the crap that is holding race relations in this country back. complaints like this one eventually get people to completely tune out claims of real racism 

Gabes22
Gabes22 moderator

Darth L Jackson LMFAO!

Big Cheese
Big Cheese

"Game Balls and Goats: NFC North, Week 8"

---

Nevermind. I thought that said "Goat balls and games." I'm out.

G & G
G & G moderator

Enough is enough!!

natradamus
natradamus moderator

I made some shit last night-  sausage and garlic shrimp in like a garden spaghetti sauce over rigito? noodles.  fucking awesome- goin for leftovers about right meow

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

On the Bright side. Tmonson's employment future still looks brighter than T.O.'s and Chad Johnson's

Gabes22
Gabes22 moderator

I hope this will make tmonson feel better

SDL
SDL

Gotta thing - gotta go.

Later invaginators

natradamus
natradamus moderator

How hurt is Jordy Nelson?  I know he sat out the last game after tweaking his hamstring last wednesday-  was "close" to starting against the *jaguars - so- is he a lock to start next week?

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

Black racism towards whites is the backbone of Racial Suffrage.

If they can convince themselves we hate them, they can blame us for all of their problems. It's the worst form of avoidance.

bp.
bp.

 Cat just couldn't believe the stache.

Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days
Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days

 

Dude, every time I see Jacksons, I think of Deep Blue Sea when that shark jumped up out of the water and ate his ass while he was giving a speech 

natradamus
natradamus moderator

Left overs- always sunny... now South Park-  damn I don't want to work

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

 Well duh, eating any kind of food is technically "Making some shit"

bp.
bp.

 I will never eat your shit, and I don't care how much you gush over it.

G & G
G & G moderator

 

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

 I hope so, my fantasy team SUCKS without him.

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17

  Seriously though. Do you really give a fuck what someone Says at a concert?????

Rourke
Rourke

 Why is "fuck" bleeped out but "nigga" isn't?

natradamus
natradamus moderator

  weird, I always think of "these motha fuckin snakes on this mothe fuckin plane" followed by the redeaming Pulp Fiction rant

luvspackers
luvspackers

  Yep, one of the greatest scenes ever.  That is also a very underrated movie.  Best shark movie ever imo

G & G
G & G moderator

  HEYOOOO!!

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

  

On second thought, TuPac might not be the best role model for getting ahead while alive.

G & G
G & G moderator

  Lions WR's corp sucks too without Jordy Nelson

bp.
bp.

 Did the KKK get to him?  I am always worried.  They hat when guys that black achieve.

natradamus
natradamus moderator

  because bleeping a black man saying nigga is racist?

Gabes22
Gabes22 moderator

  I have no clue.

bp.
bp.

  

natradamus
natradamus moderator

   I am about to eat leftovers and procrastinate though

natradamus
natradamus moderator

   busy as hell.  I should be working now too.    I slip in and out of here, but only usually stay for like 10 min

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

    LOL, I didn't know you were talking to me, haha!

Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days
Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days

    

It's OK. Get you wins in while you can. I am comin' back for your ass in rd 2. 

BTW: I haven't seen you in a while. Hows it going, Slama? 

natradamus
natradamus moderator

    book of nastra-  I am an idiot

natradamus
natradamus moderator

    I am not following you.  my vocabulary is limited I guess

natradamus
natradamus moderator

   yeah-  WR's can get a lot of point in your league - but - from this weeks game review

If Hegemonic Power had played every team in the league each week, they would be 77-11.

Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days
Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days

    

LOL

I nearly chocked on my spit at this comment. Oh man... can't wait until the playoffs. My players gonna put on a damn clinic. RESPECT! 

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

    Dude, you wrote the quatrains who could possibly defeat you in FF?

natradamus
natradamus moderator

   no- I need competition.  I feel my greatness has the league discouraged

natradamus
natradamus moderator

   I have put up a solid 80 in my cash league the last 2 weeks after going off for 155- and I am still on a 3 game winning streak (cash league)

Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days
Reesypieces Graduates in 14 days

    

I think it was a bum week for a lot of players. This is the time people's rosters are thin because of Byes and injuries. 

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

   I had the vikings D, and my matchup had doug martin. ughhhhh.